Change Up Your Questions - Exploring what you ask your grantees and how

This session will review how changing times, shifting ecosystems, and an evolving understanding of philanthropy are encouraging funders to review their application and decision-making frameworks. Finding a balance between knowing enough about an organization and reducing the burden on potential grantees can be a challenge. The goal is to gather information that focuses on the factors most important to you as a funder and do so in a way that builds relationships rather than checks the boxes. Material you collect should actually be used to make decisions. And you should ensure that what you ask actually addresses critical attributes you seek in a potential grantee. Explore guidelines and filters through which you can assess the questions you’re asking, how those questions are asked, and in what format. Review how to examine components of your process, including site visits, grant reports, and decision-making conversations, to ensure that grantees are engaged equitably and respectfully. Using real-world examples, you will have the opportunity to discover how you might respond to specific situations that require a strategic rethinking of your process, questions, or both. Discuss how grantee feedback and input from board members can help you to promote learning as the impact of these changes are evaluated.

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